Michael Swanwick’s compelling NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT entertains

photo: Beth Gwynn

, John Walters praises Michael Swanwick’s NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT.

Multiple Hugo and Nebula winner Michael Swanwick writes both novels and shorter works, but it is in short stories that he truly shines.  He’s one of those writers that is at home in the shorter length; others that I can think of right off include Harlan Ellison, James Tiptree, Jr., Jorge Luis Borges, and R.A. Lafferty. Some of the stories in this collection, in fact, remind me of Lafferty’s stories: spare, precise, poetic, and with just a few subtle tweaks of reality to spin the reader off into an alternate dimension or situation.  Like Lafferty’s too, not all of these stories make any sense or have any internal logic, but they are not meant to have these qualities. Instead, the author puts you into a situation that may be only slightly different from so-called reality, gives you a shove, and propels you farther and farther into an abyss or a labyrinth or a rabbit hole until you end up at some surreal, strange, and absurdly other sort of location and wonder how you got there.


All in all, this is a solid, entertaining collection by one of the masters of the short story form. Swanwick is someone you can count on to deliver quality goods, and these stories do not disappoint.

Leona Turford at STARBURST reviews the collection.

NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT is the latest in author Michael Swanwick’s collections of fantasy stories, following on from his previous works by bringing together another eclectic mix of tales making for a delightful read that you can pick up at anytime.


Each story is as compelling as the last, from a calculus problem that proves to be much more than meets the eye, to literary characters with self awareness who decide to weave their own tales. Within this intriguing collection of short stories we’re taken on a journey around several worlds where your never quite sure what to expect, with plenty of twists and turns to take in along the way.

With plenty of stories to dip and out of with ease, whatever genre you prefer in the fantasy realm your bound to find several tales that entertain amongst this collection of short stories, and some that will certainly surprise you.

An entertaining read from beginning to end, with plenty of tales to amuse, making for a great collection of short stories. Besides, who wouldn’t want to spend some time with a sly seductive circus performer, some con artists and a robotic scarecrow with a conscious, and all without leaving the comfort of your sofa!

Darth Vodo and Beelzebub gossip about the book 

Over at TOR.COM, you can read Swanwick’s story “The Dala Horse.”

We’re pleased to encore “The Dala Horse,” a Tor.com Original story originally published in June 2011, now reprinted in the NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT. Long after the wars, there are things abroad in the world—things more than human. And they have scores to settle with one another…

In his KIRKUS column, John DeNardo included the book in The August Science Fiction and Fantasy Books You’ll Want to Read.

Not so fast! There’s still plenty of great reading to be had from this month’s selection of short fiction anthologies and collections. Here are the ones to look for:

On the Eyeball Floor by Tina Connolly
Things From Outer Space edited by Hank Davis
Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law
Early Days: More Tales from the Pulp Era edited by Robert Silverberg
Not So Much, Said the Cat by Michael Swanwick
Amaryllis and Other Stories by Carrie Vaughn
Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World by Caroline M. Yoachim

For more information on NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover design by Elizabeth Story